I’m on a study project to improve my understanding of roleplaying games. To this end, I already have two reading projects, A Game Per Year and An Adventure Per Year. This is the third, with the goal of reading or playing 52 games made in the last few years. Originally I considered making this “A New RPG Per Week” and that’s where the number 52 comes from, even though a weekly schedule is probably not within my abilities.
An extremely focused solo game, A Game About Throwing Tantrums By an Ex Problem Child invites you to take the role of a child at odd with their surroundings. The flow of the game proceeds along a simple set of if/then rules. For example, you’re speaking to a teacher when you write something that is true. They don’t understand you but you want them to think you’re like them.
In response, you run away. Then you have to roll again and again until you have exhausted all the options such as threatening them or denying everything.
Then you sputter. You go somewhere alone to cry, break something, etc. The next day, you will feel resentment, shame, or something like that.
Sputtering leads to you having to play the game again the next day or going to sleep and forgetting. That counts as a win.
The game is about the impotence of being a child, of being managed and controlled by others and having to deal with people who see you as a problem, not a person. It’s quite brutal in the straightforward efficiency of the experience it generates.